May I Assist You?

By Robert Goldman

February 11, 2021 5 min read

You need one! You deserve one! By virtue of your hard work and steadfast allegiance to your company's vision statement, no one could deny you one.

Know what I'm talkin' about?

An assistant.

How wonderful will it be when you finally have your assistant? The jobs you don't want to handle will seamlessly drip down from your to-do list and land with a splat on the to-do list of your assistant. Who you will constantly berate and eventually, on a whim, fire, while taking credit for their work, of course.

Just like your boss does.

Unfortunately, in this modern age of working from home, having an assistant brings its own set of problems. You probably don't want to locked up in your cozy home office with a complete stranger. You definitely don't want to be responsible for providing a hearty lunch and stocking a pleasing variety of probiotic drinks and organic crackers for their breaks. Nor do you want to worry about your assistant sending snarky reports about your productivity, or lack thereof, to your boss while you take your morning, midday or afternoon naps.

Even when you return to an office that doesn't double as your kitchen, your manager may find it difficult to justify the cost of an assistant. If you do get the go-ahead, your co-workers will surely insist on having assistants of their own. Even worse, with your co-workers less likely to fob off their entire workload to their assistants, your assistant will see that everyone else's assistants are doing a lot less assisting, which could result in your assistant demanding an assistant of their own.

Things could get ugly.

Before you despair of never having an assistant, let me assure you that there is a solution. Hire a Virtual Assistant!

A VA is a lot less trouble, because they don't exist. Well, they don't exist in the physical space in which you exist, whether it be home or office or both. The Virtual Assistant who answers your phone and opens your emails exists in some weird, far-off place like Bangladesh; or Kathmandu, Nepal; or Minnesota. The low wages demanded by assistants in these benighted locations, combined with the Zoomy technology to boss them around from a distance, makes the entire Virtual Assistant concept work.

And where do you find a virtual assistant to call your own? One possibility is thevirtualassistantstore.com, a New York-based company that recently sent my wife an email promising "The Most Affordable & Efficient Way to Staff Your Business." (Since my wife does not have a business, I'm not certain why she was so attracted to this offer, but if she thinks I'm going to let some Virtual Assistant take over my staff position as Chief Complainer and Grumbler, she has another think coming.)

Certainly, you can't complain about the cost of a VA from the VA Store — "Now Only $1.00 the First Week." That first week, by the way, includes two or three days of "setup" and four to five days of "working service." This sounds fair; if your boss got four or five days of work out of you every week, they'd flip.

Since your Virtual Assistant is born when you first log on, you are free to give your VA a name. You could be sweet, like me, and name your VA "Cuddles," or you could use the name of a real person, someone rich and famous. Think how powerful you will feel when you say, "Give me a report on the sales figures for 2020, Beyonce, and be quick about it."

What else can your Virtual Assistant do for you?

"Handle Increased Customer Service" is one task that can be accomplished virtually, as well as "Preventing Cancellations," which is useful if the VA botches the job. Your virtual assistant can also "Build & Manage Online Stores." The fact that you have nothing to sell will not deter your VA, who will inventory your recent online purchases and put them all up for sale at bargain prices. Your Virtual Assistant will then use the money it makes from your Virtual Store to pay for the Virtual Psychiatrist it hires, with whom it will schedule Virtual Therapy sessions so you can work out your Virtual Fears about having a Virtual Person do your job at a fraction of your Real Salary.

Would your Virtual Assistant ever send a Virtual Message to your Real Manager about the cost-savings benefits of replacing you?

Have Beyonce call Cuddles.

I'll let you know what they decide.

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at [email protected] To find out more about Bob Goldman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: CyberRabbit at Pixabay

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